Monica Chew

Monica Chew (she/her) is an Oakland pianist and composer. In 2017 she released her first solo album, Tender and Strange, featuring works by Bartók, Janáček, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Scriabin. A “gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression” (Whole Note, June/July/August 2018), her playing is “wonderfully delicate, like tissue” (International Pianist, July/August 2018). She has been a featured artist on KVMR, KPFA and radio stations across the United States. She started composing in 2017 and couldn’t be happier about it. Her work has been featured as part of the Gabriela Lena Frank’s Creative Academy for Music’s #GLFCAMGigThruCovid initiative, Hot Air Music Festival, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s Intersection program. Her first string quartet, Delayed Send, was premiered by Friction Quartet in November 2020 and reviewed as “monumental” and “stunning” by San Francisco Classical Voice. She loves playing chamber music and received a Zellerbach Family Foundation award for her chamber music work. Prior to 2015, she neglected piano for nearly a decade to work as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google after receiving her Master of Music from SF Conservatory of Music and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, and a disused violin. In spring and summer of 2020 she gave free twice-weekly live concerts on her Facebook and YouTube channels.